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This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater.

A humble house painter is sent a male penguin by the great Admiral Drake and, thanks to the arrival of a female penguin (from the zoo), soon has twelve penguins living in his house. What will the Popper family do with twelve penguins?

Thanks to Ginger A., Wende, and Paula for writing the lessons for this Mr. Popper’s Penguins unit study and lapbook.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Unit Study Lessons

Here are some sample lessons from the Mr. Popper’s Penguins novel study.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Chapter 3 Out of the Antarctic

Language Arts

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Vocabulary –
Meekly – gently, mildly, kindly
Receipt – a written acknowledgement of payment for or delivery of goods
Debris – scattered fragments or remains
Pompous – marked by exaggerated self-importance

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Comprehension Questions –
1. What was delivered to Mr. Popper’s home?
2. Describe how it was packed.
3. What did Mr. Popper think the bathroom tile reminded the penguin of?
4. What did Mr. Popper name the Penguin?

Creative Thinking and Comprehension (Journal or Discussion) –
What does the word curious mean? How do you know the penguin is curious? What is your student curious about? Make a list.



The penguin seemed to take six steps for the length, two steps for the width. Length is how long something is, and width is how wide something is. Walk the length and width of a room in your house. How many steps for the length? How many steps for the width? Older children can find the area of the room by multiplying the length x width. The answer would be in square steps.


Adelie Penguins
Get out your penguin cards from the Chapter 2 lesson. Based on the description in the book, is it possible to determine what breed of penguin Captain Cook is? (use location, distinguishing marks, and size as clues) Captain Cook is an Adelie Penguin. Adelie Penguins are about 24 inches high and weigh in at around 10 pounds. Adelies have white rings around their eyes and long feathers at the base of their red bills that hide the red color. The tail of an Adelie is a little bit longer than other breeds’ tails. These cute curious creatures can journey long distances by lying down and sliding on their stomachs. What a way to travel!

Note: No penguins are known to make “ork,” “gook,” or “gork” sounds; however, giving the penguins such words adds some humor to the story!

If you’d like to learn MORE about penguins, try Easy Make & Learn Projects- Penguins. It has really cute folds and fun projects to complete.

To access all of the lessons in this Mr. Popper’s Penguins Unit Study and Lapbook, subscribe to Homeschool Share’s email list using the form in this post.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also includes these mini-books and notebook pages for your student to create a Mr. Popper’s Penguins lapbook:

  • Popper Family Calendar Page
  • Occupations Notebooking Pages
  • Penguin Species Pocket
  • Penguin Facts File Folders
  • Compound Words Shutterfold Books
  • Penguin Diet Tri-fold Book
  • Contraction Game
  • Alphabetical Penguins Cards & Pocket
  • Penguin Diagram Simple Fold Book
  • Countershading Mini-book
  • Bus Fare Math Activity Page
  • Penguin Alliterations Accordion Book
  • Seal Mini-books
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins Vocabulary Cards and Pockets
  • And more!

How to Get Started with Your Mr. Popper’s Penguins Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Mr. Popper’s Penguins Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the Mr. Popper’s Penguins unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy learning all about penguins!

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